The four Ps of Parenting

By Zoe Fuimaono, Blessed in Doubles

Juggling being a busy mother to two sets of twins, being a woman in business and a wife, all whilst trying to find that middle ground and a sense of balance, has always been an internal struggle for me. I think it’s an ongoing struggle for most millennial mama’s who are constantly trying to do it all, while figuring out what works for them.

Whether we are at home with the kids or out in the workforce, we are constantly asking ourselves am I doing enough? Are my children getting enough of my attention? What else can I do to be more present? Questions I’m sure a lot of mothers reading this would have asked themselves. And it’s also a question I am constantly asked: “How do you do it all?”.

I sometimes find that question a really hard one because this is my life, I just do it. But I know there is so much more to it than that, and that’s why I’m here writing this little spiel so I can give you some insight as to how I try to find a balance not just for myself but for my family and how I prioritise my time.

We all know the saying, life is all about balance. But how do we really truly find that balance? For me it’s all about the four Ps – planning, preparation, peace and play. I like to know what I’m doing, how I’m going to achieve it and to recognise when everything is getting too much, so I can just stop and take a step back from it all.

Planning

When it comes to planning we have a weekly food planner on our wall. I write down all the meals we will eat for the week including breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and plan a shopping list. Whenever I do this I feel so prepared, and when I don’t I honestly feel like my life is in shambles. Having that structure, especially, around food, and knowing what to eat and when is such a relief, even more so when you don’t have to think about it.

Preparation

I love the saying, preparation is the key to success, because honestly when I am prepared everything seems to fall into place. I’m less stressed, I know what’s going on and I actually get things done. I’m such a procrastinator (another P!), so for me being prepared is really important. I don’t plan and prepare for every second of the day but when I have a rough idea of what I’m doing in advance, my life doesn’t feel so chaotic. I do little things like prepare an extra batch of food when cooking, or get the kids PJs all ready before they get home so once they’ve had dinner it’s bath time, teeth brushed, books read and bed. It’s all about trying to make life that little bit easier.

Peace

Then we all need our peace. I know I need to take my own time out, now and then. So take a break, give yourself that time to relax. Maybe it’s over a nice cup of tea, running yourself a bath or spending more time doing your makeup –  whatever it is, make sure you find those mini breaks for yourself throughout the day.

Play

Last but certainly not least, is the need to play. This is probably the most important thing – knowing when to take a step back and say, no more work. Don’t worry about the house chores or the fact that dinner isn’t on. Just take the time to get in there and spend time with the kids. When we are spending time together we love playing with our LEGO DUPLO. For me it brings back amazing memories of when I was younger and I would spend hours playing and building. The opportunities to build things seemed endless. Fast forward 20 odd years and I still get the same feelings, it still gets my imagination going and now my kids’ imagination. Watching all of our children’s minds fizz and tick with excitement as they build, makes my heart sing and honestly I really get into building (sometimes more than them!).

Often all we need to do is sit down for an hour and put our screens away, close the laptop and switch the TV off and just hang out with our kids and play. Moments like building with DUPLO bricks offers us this opportunity to create and connect together. We can learn so much from our babies by simply watching them play. I know I have. I’ve learnt patience, I’ve learnt to let go of expectations and to just switch off and completely delve into a project and let my imagination do the thinking for once. When we get the LEGO DUPLO out and it makes that crazy fun sound when being tipped out, I know we are all going to have fun as a family. Seeing their eyes light up when Mummy and Daddy sit down and take time out from our hectic life and just completely focus on them is the best feeling in the world.

As I’ve learnt from LEGO, play is the most natural way for our kids to learn and is a major part of their development. Play-time helps us parents create special memories with our little ones and gives us the chance to fully connect with them. It doesn’t matter if we can’t spend hours and hours playing with our kids, as long as we make sure we are fully present in those moments when we play with them, they will feel it back. In turn our kids can feel confident to create and express themselves. And that’s a milestone my hubby and I want for our kids.

At the end of the day we are all doing our best, even if you feel like you aren’t doing enough, you are! It is so important to take time out to prioritise, nurture and be kind to not just our children but most importantly ourselves. Know and affirm to yourself that you are doing an incredible job, because you are.

This article was written by Zoe Fuimaono who blogs at Blessed in Doubles whilst raising two sets of twins under the age of four.

THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED

To give you more opportunity for play, we have three LEGO DUPLO sets to give away! Simply log in, then comment below and tell us your best/favourite parenting tip.

Competition closes 5pm on 23rd May 2018. Three winners will be drawn at random and each will receive one of the following LEGO DUPLO sets. You will be contacted by email if you are a winner. By entering any competitions on Kidspot.co.nz you are confirming that you agree to our site Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

  1. LEGO DUPLO My First Animal Brick Box
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  3. LEGO DUPO Airport

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22 Comments

  1. Emz 21/05/2018 at 8:00 pm

    My handy tip is leave the vacuuming till when you put the kids to bed so before they go to sleep you can quickly vacuum in peace without kids under foot and it won’t wake them as they aren’t asleep yet, they are still in the wind down period. Hope it helps 🙂

  2. Megbear93 16/05/2018 at 7:33 pm

    time managament is a key tip when you are parent. I manage my time wisely as i am a mum, a student and a teacher so i make sure i use my time wisely when my daughter is in bed.

    Also, to-do lists are your friend as they make sure that you are able to remember everything that you need to fit into your time.

  3. adelyn84 15/05/2018 at 10:45 pm

    Always pack some snacks and water in the car – you never know when you’ll need them for the kids (and for yourself!)

  4. rochelleg 15/05/2018 at 9:51 am

    Got to say always be prepared with a extra nappy and wipes! The amount times I have thought he is not going to poop while we are out and then guess what he goes and does!! So there is always extra nappies and wipes in my car for those moments!

  5. dreindeed 15/05/2018 at 9:37 am

    Try to appreciate all the moments, even difficult ones, because they’ll soon be gone!

  6. Nikkib90 15/05/2018 at 7:16 am

    Take a deep breath – when things get yucky think this too will pass. Take a deep breath and take in the moments of joy that occur all through the day. Focus on the good and don’t worry about the hard stuff – when they grow up recalling the fun times is magic.

  7. Alison Spencer 09/05/2018 at 1:13 am

    Do not worry about household chores like cleaning and dusting. Quality play time is more important – painting, drawing, playing with Lego Duplo and singing encourages brain development. Enjoy walking, cycling, going to the library and walking the dog with your children and they will become more sociable happy kids.

  8. Nat 05/05/2018 at 8:52 am

    Picking which battles are necessary is a parenting tip I’m working on! Some things are silly to get upset about, and leaving it up to them to decide teaches consequences, independence and self – reliance. I’m also finding it helps my son to realise that if I’m not budging on something, that thing is important to obey and respect.

  9. Elize 04/05/2018 at 9:59 pm

    I find a few minutes on a Sun to prep 4 sets of clothes saves so much hassle on daycare mornings, and allows a few extra minutes for cuddles or play:)

  10. Rylee Bell 04/05/2018 at 8:21 pm

    If we are off somewhere for the day i find if I get up first and get me organised its so much easier getting out the door as close to on time as possible. And having cuddles with my oldest (2.5) in bed before baby wakes gives her some nice mum time as we are struggling with sharing mum

  11. angieb 04/05/2018 at 7:44 pm

    Just breathe! This too shall pass! So many times in those really tough moments I make sure to remember this! 😍

  12. storminateacup 04/05/2018 at 4:34 pm

    The dishes are not going to run away if you leave them (unfortunately), your children do keep growing and changing make them your first choice (their way more fun too).

  13. Harli Horbelt 04/05/2018 at 3:53 pm

    Try and get enough sleep if you possibly can! Everything is easier if you don’t have to deal with tiredness.

  14. Palmymum 04/05/2018 at 3:45 pm

    In our house its meal prep. It takes a bit of time to set up but it saves so much time during the week especially at dinner time.

    I also love the emphasis to play in this article. It is so easy to find other things to do around the house (there’s a never ending to do list) but the kids ars so much settled, and im a lot more relaced when i soend quality time playing with them.

  15. fliss1 03/05/2018 at 10:56 am

    Don’t worry about the stuff that isn’t life and death (the dishes will happen one day and so will the washing…) let it slide and you will survive rather than setting the standard unreasonably high

  16. Charmaine Willis-Croft 03/05/2018 at 3:59 am

    I absolutely agree with all these tips. As a busy Mum of 5 myself, I find the key to success is definitely planning and preparation. Mornings and evenings can often be quite chaotic but we always have a set routine and I make sure I am up early to get everything ready as I hate rushing. I feel so much more calm when everything is done and ready and I have time to breathe.

  17. Amber 02/05/2018 at 10:39 pm

    Trust your own instincts in regards to what is best for your child. You really do know best most of the time

  18. rutu 02/05/2018 at 9:22 pm

    Water play…no matter what the age of the child, if you wish to give a little calming time and a lot of enjoyment, provide some water play. It’s very versatile; can be inside or outside; on hot days or cold. Only takes a little imagination and no expensive props. A three year old may wash some dishes in the sink; a younger child may pour water from one container to another and a baby may just enjoy a bath – all supervised, of course.

  19. Craig Lovegrove 02/05/2018 at 6:58 pm

    Cut a hole in their nappy before putting it on them, then place your kid on the toilet seat. A great way to toilet train.

  20. dreindeed 02/05/2018 at 6:44 pm

    Get clothes and lunches sorted the night before for a peaceful morning!

  21. Roxliley 02/05/2018 at 6:41 pm

    At the end of a working day, I really enjoy watching and playing with my kids. (10 months and 3.5 years).
    Being organised is helpful. Getting up half an hour earlier than the kids to prep for the day and hang out washing etc to give me more quiet time.

  22. lottieg 02/05/2018 at 6:07 pm

    Don’t worry about the little stuff such as if the house is clean or if the kids clothes match. Quality, ‘mindful/in the moment’ time with the kids is the most important thing you can focus on.

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